Virgin Australia is on the hunt for beef in New Zealand. You might want to watch out Air New Zealand!

Virgin Australia 737-800

Virgin Australia Catering
Date Posted: 06/08/2018

Virgin Australia is currently commencing a nation-wide search across New Zealand for the country’s finest meat supplier, the airline is committed to serving local produce on trans-tasman flights from New Zealand to Australia. Virgin Australia is determined to present a gourmet dish featuring real meat, unlike its now trans-tasman rival, Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand announced back in July 2018, that they are the first airline in the world to serve up a plant-based meat patty in their new on-board meal, dubbed the “Impossible Burger”. The “Impossible Burger” is currently being served on flights between Los Angeles and Auckland, but only in the Business Premier cabin. The meat substitute is constructed of heme, an iron-containing molecule that comes from the root of soy plants. The New Zealand based airlines said that it cooks, smells and tastes like real beef, but doesn’t contain any meat products at all.

Virgin Australia has launched its own promotional video, calling for New Zealand meat suppliers to submit their interest in providing their produce on-board.

(Video courtesy of Virgin Australia, via Youtube)

In a subtle tongue-in-cheek comment Virgin Australia claims to be one of New Zealand’s biggest fans, commenting that New Zealand produces some of the highest quality beef in the world. After the recent Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand alliance coming to an end, there has always thought to be some bad feelings in the water between the two airlines.

In a subtle tongue-in-cheek comment Virgin Australia claims to be one of New Zealand’s biggest fans, commenting that New Zealand produces some of the highest quality beef in the world. After the recent Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand alliance coming to an end, there has always thought to be some bad feelings in the water between the two airlines.

Is this a clever marketing campaign by Virgin Australia, claiming to be supporting New Zealand’s own meat producers and farmers, when their own carrier not supporting them? Yes, in a cheeky way it is. Why create a vegan ‘lab produced’ soybean product when you could have the real thing.

The successful supplier will work closely with Virgin Australia and their local Auckland catering contractor, LSG Sky Chefs, to develop a custom made dish, showcasing the high quality local produce of New Zealand. With everything going to plan between the airline, the supplier and their catering contractor, the dish could be served up on trans-tasman flights from as soon as October 2018.

“New Zealand is a key market for Virgin Australia, and supporting the local meat industry is just one way in which we are reinforcing our commitment to the country, our guests and local suppliers.” Said Tash Tobias, Virgin Australia General Manager of Customer Experience and Product,

“New Zealand continues to produce arguably some of the highest quality meat in the world, just like our Aussie farmers. We can’t wait to meet the country’s best meat suppliers, and work with the winner on developing a tasty dish for guests travelling from New Zealand to Australia.” Ms Tobias commented.

Got Beef Promo (Image: Virgin Australia)

Currently local artesian producers already make up a huge portion of Virgin Australia’s current menu, including wines from Marlborough and Waipara Hills, ice-cream from Gundowring in Victoria and hand stuffed olives from Sydney.

The successful supplier will have to meet particular criteria, which includes demonstrating sustainable practices which comply with Virgin Australia’s procurement policy.

If you are a New Zealand meat producer looking at applying, you will need to sell yourself and the story of why your meat should make the cut in fewer than 200 words. Then email it to gotbeef@virginaustralia.com.
Entries close on 7 August 2018 at 5pm NZST, so you will have to be quick!

This current campaign demonstrates Virgin Australia’s commitment to New Zealand and their primary industries. It also reiterates the airlines commitment to increasing trans-tasman services between Australia and New Zealand. Including new flights from Newcastle to Auckland, Melbourne to Queenstown and Sydney to Wellington, as well as an increase in services between many of their major Australian ports and Auckland. So, watch out Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia has got something to settle by providing their customers with actual fresh, juicy, locally produced beef compared with your lab created beef substitute. May the better airlines win this battle, whether it is real meat or the plant based meat offering, which isn’t meat at all.

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